My art skills improvement - HELP! [Archive] - Artist Forum

: My art skills improvement - HELP!

02-10-2017, 07:21 AM
Hello Guys,

I'm a self-taught beginner. I want to improve my drawing/painting skills - however I am aware that there are a loooot of things that I need to work on. So many in fact, that I don't know what should I work on first. Because I think that I should focus at one thing at the time. I'm not the spontaneous type, I like to think things through and pick the most effective way to my goal. In this situation it backfires at me, because in this case I don't know how to prioritize. And so when I sit down to draw, I don't know what should I focus on and can't draw/paint anything at all...

My art style and art preference is half-realism. I want to learn how to make real things seem out of ordinary through play of light/shadow and color. I have many beautiful images in my head which I am unable to convey because I don't have enough skills... What I think I need to work on the most now are:

- COLOR (I'm good at mixing colors but not so good at using and 'inventing' them on my own in the painting, if you know what I mean... I guess that in this aspect it is more about COMPOSITION than the color itself?)

Mediums I want to 'master' right now are:
- watercolors
- soft pastels
(I already have pencil and colored pencils down as the medium in itself)

Could any of you give me some advice on what should I work on first? Or maybe I am going about it the wrong way altogether? I get that I can work on multiple things at the time (like practice color along with the landscape) but I would like to exercise in my sketchbook one thing at the time while I'm not painting/drawing anything big - I believe that it would be more effective. What do you think?

Steve James
02-11-2017, 12:32 AM
Get a sketchpad and a pencil. Start drawing. Keep drawing. Draw everything and then draw it again. Don't worry about all the other stuff till you can draw.

02-11-2017, 02:34 AM
Get a sketchpad and a pencil. Start drawing. Keep drawing. Draw everything and then draw it again. Don't worry about all the other stuff till you can draw.

Yeah, but you know... In my humble opinion, think that I can draw already :biggrin: That's why I want to improve and I worry about other things... Unless you think that I still have to stick to it for a while longer. I have uploaded an album with some of my old pictures - for some reason can't view full size for now (I've already contacted the administrator about it) but maybe you can figure out my level from thumbnails? It's copied art in colored pencil - right now I can't upload my original still life pictures since I've left them at a different location... But mostly, the level is similar, if not better, since the still life is most recent. Could you please have a quick look at it and advise?

02-11-2017, 06:41 AM
You need to edit your pictures and write something in the comments section of each one. That should make them appear. As far as what you should work on, you should start with your confidence.

02-11-2017, 07:05 AM
kind of hard - why not just upload the pictures here or on deviantart so one can get a propper look. what is it that you want to achieve? do you want to be able to make your own characters ( f.e. in FF style )?

about the color - i may be wrong since i only got to see like 5 thumbnails of your works - it looks like you rarely do whole compositions you know - with a background and such. i believe that is your problem about making colors work when you try something out of imagination. if you want semi realistic then you will need to learn and understand how light behaves - why something is green ( or red or w/e ) and why its not.

if you want to be able to copy really good you just need to learn to recognize and know how to re-create a certain color you might get away with not knowing about ambient occlusion, reflective light etc.

what steve advised is still valid and a good advice. everything you copy will add to your visual library. if you have problems coming up with details or if your designs are "too simple" for your taste then this has to do with the visual library. a temporary fix is gathering alot of references.

- ANATOMY and GESTURE <--- do alot like james suggested
- PLANTS <--- do alot of studies like james suggested
- LANDSCAPES <--- do alot of studies like james suggested

^^ what i do to get a steady progression is that every once in a while when i work on something i might want to upload later i always try to get at least one thing going which is out of my comfort zone. it will suck and sometimes it ruins the whole image but i always learn a ton from it and after a while i "magically" get better at where i failed and eventually it sinks in.

there is also people advising to do the contrary : always stay in your comfort zone and ace it one day. itīll be faster but obviously you loose versatility with your craft.

Steve James
02-11-2017, 11:32 AM
I'm using Firefox and can't see any images.